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Liis Taras

 @liistaras

Like refreshing a room for the new season, big effects can come from a small start. Meet Liis, a fine art teacher whose maternity-hobby Instagram profile birthed an exciting new career as a freelance Interior Stylist.

woman in bed reading magazine

Tell us about your background

I grew up in a small town in Estonia and went to a fantastic school where creativity was highly valued. I started practicing visual arts and ended up finishing an MA in Art Teaching. I got to teach in a public school for three amazing years before marrying my husband and becoming pregnant with our first child. We now have a son and daughter, and live in Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn.

What sparked your love of interior styling?

Someone once said, “have children and you will find your true self.” We enjoy long maternity leaves in Estonia: one and a half years paid, plus an optional one and a half years unpaid. Although raising small children is time- and energy-consuming, I still felt that I had some creative energy left. I put it into my Instagram profile, where I mostly shared pictures of our family, everyday life and bits of our new home. As I styled more and more images of our home, I quickly recognised my passion for styling. So, my private account evolved into a home-decor based account.

 

 

Bed next to a vase
Flowers
Dining table

How did you transition from hobby to new career?

My little Instagram profile was once again the catalyst. My following has steadily grown, and I’ve been approached by local furnishing and interiors companies to style their shoots. It amazes me, as my account is still pretty modest: I just shoot with an iPhone 8 and barely retouch the images. Because, in truth, I am really in love with the work that precedes the shot: conceptualising, choosing the items and of course the styling. Going from styling my home to someone else’s felt completely natural, so I said yes and haven’t looked back.

 

Describe your interior style.

My style is quite eclectic, and I really can't put a name to it. I love layering different eras and referencing multiple cultures. For example, we have a Belgian 18th century mirror, some contemporary items from BoConcept, many thrifted items like two leather DUX/Bruno Mathsson Karin lounge chairs and so on. I love true product and furniture design, especially Danish contemporary and mid-century items. I never know what will inspire me next, so it's safe to say that my style is in constant change. Nothing is ever final. 

 

You wear many demanding hats. How do you protect yourself against burnout?

My personal medicine is running. I run at least three to four times a week, and it has become my meditation and my therapy. Whenever I am stressed, tired or mentally drained I run and return feeling fresh and energized with an optimistic perspective on the challenges at hand. 

 

What are your goals for the not-too-distant future?

In Estonia, the profession is still in its infancy, with currently no professional studies. But I do want to invest in myself to reach new heights. I want to get some photography tuition and upgrade my equipment. I haven’t decided if I will return to teaching this year but I’m sure I will someday, as it is still very dear to my heart.

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